An Austin traffic safety group and the Austin Independent School District have released footage of two children who were hit by pickup trucks when the drivers failed to obey school bus stop signs.

Both children were lucky to walk away with minor injuries, but you wouldn't believe it after seeing the Austin Traffic Solutions footage.

Austin ISD police chief Eric Mendez told KEYE-TV he thought instances of vehicles speeding past or driving around stopped buses with their signs out might decrease after the district installed cameras on the buses, but he says there have been far more than he expected.

Officials hope the footage will serve as a reminder to citizens to drive safely and be on the lookout for children any time they're near a school bus, especially when it's stopped.

Parents should also talk to their children about looking both ways and being careful when crossing the street, even if the bus' stop sign is out and the red lights are flashing. Even if they have the right-of-way, that doesn't mean all drivers will follow the law.

The Texas Department of Public Safety website has this to say about a driver's responsibility around a school bus:

According to Texas statute, a driver – traveling in either direction – must stop when approaching a school bus that is stopped and operating a visual signal. The driver may not proceed until one of the following occurs: the school bus resumes motion; the operator is signaled by the bus driver to proceed; or the visual signal is no longer activated.

If a road is divided only by a left-turning lane, drivers on both sides of the roadway must stop for school buses with alternating red flashing lights activated. However, if the lanes are separated by an intervening space or physical barrier, only motorists going in the same direction as the bus are required to stop.

Just remember - you may be in a hurry or late, but no appointment is worth ending someone's life, especially a child.


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